DETROIT - Delphi Corp. is about to hold the nation's biggest garage sale.
On Friday, March 31, Delphi announced plans to shrink its U.S. manufacturing empire from 44 plants to just eight.
The old Delphi - a manufacturer that bends, stamps and molds commodity parts - would disappear. The new Delphi would focus on electronics, just like thriving rivals such as Bosch, Denso and Siemens.
To achieve that goal, Delphi CEO Steve Miller must close or sell all those plants that produce noncore products. Miller has said that Delphi intends to shrink from an annual revenue of $28 billion to $20 billion.
In a statement issued Friday, COO Rodney O'Neal said Delphi's core businesses are in product segments in which the company can capitalize on its technical strength.
Expendable products include brakes, chassis systems, instrument panels, catalysts, door modules, latches, steering components and wheel bearings.
"We believe many of these product lines have the potential to compete successfully under new ownership," O'Neal said.
Delphi has announced the corporate equivalent of a garage sale to unload unwanted assets. Now Delphi's rivals can go shopping for bargains. Those who stand to benefit include Dura Automotive Systems Inc., Johnson Controls Inc., Magna International Inc., Lear Corp. and TRW Automotive Inc.
Steering components may pose a special case. Delphi specialized in that segment, and it has achieved some high-tech innovations, such as four-wheel steering.
Last week O'Neal said he will explore a possible alliance for that business.
He did not name possible suitors, but steering is a strong product for TRW.
Delphi spokeswoman Claudia Piccinin said potential buyers had made inquiries earlier, but Delphi could not negotiate sales until it had defined its strategy.
Now that it has identified expendable products, it can negotiate in earnest.
You may e-mail Robert Sherefkin at [email protected]
You may e-mail Dave Barkholz at [email protected]